I don't want to wallow online here, but suffice to say I'm disappointed where my fitness is now. I'm impressed with how much stronger some of fellow riders are at the moment, but hills that I charged up last summer are just creeping by now. And riders that I challenged (and sometimes bested) are *way* beyond me at the moment. Yesterday we had a peaceful, relaxed coffee ride, me spinning quite wildly on the QB. Great bike, but I like it better for solo rides.
Today I got up early and rode out towards PJ's neck of the woods for some early morning country miles. We descended Wolf Pen to River and linked up to the stair step climbs of Covered Bridge, returning via Sleepy Hollow and a quick coffee stop at Starsux at the Summit. I tried really hard, rode really hard and tried to push the pace but I just couldn't get over on top of the gear. PJ just sat there in his own SuperBuddha way, pushing a big gear and seemingly never in a moment's trouble; he could have left me miles behind at any moment. This course trod some of the same terrain as last year's Populaire. That was a 75m ride at 14.8avg in higher heat. Today's ride was 46m with a 15.4avg, much shorter and a much greater effort. And the Populaire had more climbing. Last year I remember portions of Wolf Pen when we were waiting for folks and I was in complete control; today I had to follow wheels so often.
The bike was great. The route was great. The early morning was a perfect time to ride. And PJ was great, strong, relaxed. It was very disappointing, though, to ride my ass off and feel like I didn't really get anywhere. I feel like I can count on one hand the number of strong rides I've had since last November. I don't know if it's weight, fitness, health or what, but you know those legs, and I haven't had them in forever.
Sea lo que sea.